Class 4A No. 10 Lewis Central baseball earned perhaps the biggest win of its 11-0 start by knocking off Class 4A No. 3 Urbandale 12-2 Friday night at Doc Ross Field on the Campus of Iowa Western Community College.
“I think the statement has been sent and read,” Titans coach Jim Waters said. “In a game like this, you’re never sure about how many opportunities you’re actually going to get. We capitalized on about everything that we could.
“It’s a combination of everything and this is why it’s a team game. (JC) Dermody threw a masterpiece. Our hitters were very selective at the plate and thus drew plenty of walks, we stole bases and the biggest thing is we got clutch hits when the opportunity was there and that was huge.”
Both teams found home plate once in the first inning to make it 1-1 before Lewis Central took the lead with a pair of runs in the second. The Jayhawks earned one of those runs back in the top of the third and made things interesting with a score of 3-2.
From that point on, it was all Titans. Dermody limited the Jayhawks to just two hits and no walks while striking out seven batters. Throw that in with some superb fielding play and the Titans feel like they’ve proved that they have one of the best fielding groups in the state.
“I just tried to throw strikes and let my defense work,” Dermody said. “We knew they had some great hitters, so I just trusted my defense to make the plays and didn’t try to do too much.
“We’re going to try the same thing on Johnston tomorrow, which will be a good test. We just trying to put some respect on southwest Iowa and Lewis Central here.”
Lewis Central rapped out 10 hits on the night. The Titans began to find their groove at the plate in the fourth inning. Though three runs were walked in, junior Britton Bond also had an RBI single, which carried some momentum in the next two innings.
Senior Luke Meyer led the way with three hits and had an RBI, as well. Meyer, said the offense proved it can be efficient again.
“The bats again were really working well for us,” Meyer said. “Once we started getting hits their dugout really quieted down which really gave us the confidence to pull this out. JC threw a heck of a game too, but we all know we have to do this again tomorrow.”
The Titans scored five more combined runs in the fifth and sixth inning to close the evening and take the victory.
Lewis Central also won Thursday’s home game after scoring nine runs in the sixth inning to defeat Atlantic 12-2.
The Titans had a slow start to the game, trailing 1-0 after the second inning. L.C. finally found its rhythm from the plate scoring two in the third and one in the fourth to take a two-run lead.
The Trojans closed the gap to 3-2 in the top of the sixth before the Titans opened the floodgates scoring nine runs to end the game via the mercy rule.
“We started pretty slow,” Waters said. “It was probably our slowest start to the game of the season. We held our own defensively. ... We made some key defensive plays in the first four innings there.”
Casey Clair made a big play in the first inning, throwing out a runner to get the Titans out of a dangerous situation.
While Lewis Central was excelling on defense, the offense struggled against Atlantic junior pitcher Lane Nelson. Nelson finished the game with five strikeouts.
“They were making every play,” Waters said. “Their pitcher was keeping us off balance. As the game went on, we went into a scoring explosion.”
Lewis Central started to build momentum with effective baserunning to score some runs.
“We take the lead 3-1 on no, or one hit,” Waters said. “Once we get baserunners we can manufacture runs once a guy gets on base.”
Bond showed off his inner Ohtani pitching five innings and hitting two home runs.
“Britton Bond really competed well for us on the hill tonight,” Waters said. “He got out of several early jams that could have given them a bigger lead than 1-0. He stuck in there a did a great job of getting out of some of those binds that we were in.”
Bond went 2 of 3 from the plate, with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs scored. In five innings pitched he allowed two runs on six hits while walking one batter and striking out seven. He is the first player to hit multiple home runs in a game this season for L.C.
Senior Cael Malskeit drove in two runs, senior Jonah Pomrenke recorded an RBI, Dermody went 1 for 1 from the plate and showed toughness after being hit by two pitches and junior Aron Harrington hit a double.
Clair also drove in two runs.
“I take my hat off to Atlantic,” Waters said. “Their pitcher threw a heck of a game for a little while. Then the bats started the explode.”
L.C. is now 10-0 on the season which has led to optimism among the Titans.
“I’m more confident now, after 10 games than I was before the season,” Waters said. “The nine hitters that we put out there in any given game, all of them can compete at the plate. We really don’t have any weak sticks in our lineups.”
Lewis Central will face another test tomorrow at Doc Ross field as they will host 4A No. 1 Johnston. After only using one pitcher, Waters likes the options he has for tomorrow as they prepare to host the defending state champion.
“A big thing to me was only having to use one pitcher today,” Waters said. “That gives us more pitchers that will be available tomorrow to hopefully reach our goal. We’ll see what happens.”
Game time against the Dragons will be at 12:30 p.m. at Doc Ross Field on the campus of Iowa Western.
Atlantic (5-4) 010 001 — 2
Lewis Central 002 109 — 12
Urbandale (9-5) 101 000 — 2
Lewis Central (11-0) 120 423 — 12
Titans win one in Woodward
Lewis Central softball went 1-1 in its first two games at the Woodward Tournament on Friday defeating Pleasantville 5-4 and losing to the host Woodward-Granger 5-1.
“The first game we came out pressing a little bit especially after last night’s loss,” head coach Hannah Cole said. “But I’m really proud of the girls digged back down and we held on to that 5-4 lead to get that win. That was really good for us to get a win under our belt.”
The Trojans scored one run in the top of the first before the Titans responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Pleasantville took a 4-2 lead in the top of the second but Lewis Central tied the game in the third and took the lead in the fourth.
Senior Haley Bach went 2 for 4 from the plate, senior Taylor Elam and eighth grader Mahri Manz each drove in one run, senior Maddie Howard went 2 for 2 and drove in two runs and junior Kaydence Sweet drove in a run.
“Both teams had eight hits. We really capitalized on a couple errors that we saw,” Cole said. “A total of eight hits really helped us get that win there.”
Bach scored the game-deciding run on a fielder’s choice by senior Paige Rodewald.
L.C. did not have the same success against Woodward-Granger. The Hawks took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first and never let up. The Titans closed the gap to 3-1 but Woodward-Granger stretched the lead to 5-1.
Bach went 3 for 3 from the plate, Elam and Manz both drove in a run, Howard went 2 of 2 with two RBIs.
“We struggled a little bit right away,” Cole said. “We did not score until the fourth inning. That was a struggle for us. We had runners on base and in scoring position, we just couldn’t capitalize.
“We were going out there though swinging out bats and hitting it right to people. That’s what we can ask for. ... I believe in these girls. I know that they can do it.”
On Thursday, the Titans struggled against 3A No. 7 Atlantic in Tuesday’s home game losing 13-0. The Trojans scored four runs in the third innings and nine in the fourth.
“We definitely made quite a few errors and they capitalized on them when we made errors,” Cole said. “I don’t think they were overpowering by any means. If we would have been on our game tonight I think it would have been a really good battle, between two really good teams. But, couldn’t get much going at the plate and then we made quite a few errors on defense that we don’t normally make.
“Those errors led to a few more and just some mental mistakes that we clearly want to not have in a game against a really good team. I think when we play them later in the season it will be a really good battle.”
Lewis Central will play Atlantic again on July 2.
The Titans recorded two hits coming from Manz and Sweet. Manz got on base in both of her at bats, reaching on an error in his other appearance.
“We really tried moving people around and we just seemed to be pressing a little too hard at the plate,” Cole said.
Lewis Central play Ogden at 10 a.m. in the tournament tomorrow.
“I think we will come back from this,” Cole said. “No team likes to lose, especially to lose like that on our home field. It’s a bummer. The girls are bumming pretty hard. We’re going to come back.
“We have three games this weekend up in Woodward-Granger and we’re just going to have fun as a team and get back to the fun side of things and not putting so much pressure on ourselves. That’s a huge reason tonight went the way it did. I believe in these girls and I think we’re going to do great.”
Atlantic (12-1) 004 9 — 13
Lewis Central (8-5) 000 0 — 0